Palestinian BNC Mourns Loss of Anti-Apartheid Icon Ahmed Kathrada

March 28, 2017, Occupied Palestine —The Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) has heard with great sadness the news of Comrade Ahmed Kathrada’s passing. Mr. Kathrada, born to an Indian Muslim family, was the most prominent Asian South African in the movement to end apartheid, the system of racial discrimination, segregation and white dominance that existed in South Africa until it was defeated in 1994.

Comrade Kathrada was also an active and consistent supporter of the Palestinian struggle for freedom. He visited Palestine, and saw the apartheid system we endure for himself. He said when in Palestine: "In our short stay here we have seen and heard enough to conclude that Apartheid has been reborn here. In its reborn form it is however worse than its predecessor. Even during the worst days of Apartheid we did not have walls to divide and control people, we also did not have separate roads for separate races, and we did not have the system of checkpoints that exist here."

The Foundation which bears his name engages in activities in support of Israeli Apartheid Week, which aims to raise awareness of Israel's apartheid policies towards Palestinians. It also supports the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement for Palestinian rights, believing that this is the way to bring an end to Israel's apartheid policies and violations of international law. 

Kathrada’s own long imprisonment — 26 years and 3 months — alongside the anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela and his lifelong struggle against apartheid and injustice are an example to all Palestinians that integrity and perseverance will lead to justice and freedom.

The BDS movement is working to increase international civil society and government support for the Palestinian struggle for justice. We were honored to count Comrade Kathrada as a supporter of our struggle and remain inspired by his life.

We send out our condolences to his family, friends, comrades and all South Africans during these difficult days.

The Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) is the largest coalition in Palestinian civil society. It leads and supports the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. 

Update

The UN report Israel does not want you to read

"The real news is that this time round, Israel, with all its influence in Washington, cannot put the genie back into the bottle."

A new UN report offers explicit backing for the Palestinian-led boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign to end Israeli apartheid and support a just peace.

The landmark report’s endorsement of boycotts, economic sanctions and other grassroots initiatives comes at a moment when Israel is desperately attempting to criminalize and suppress international support for Palestinian rights.

Published by the UN’s Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), the report concludes that “Israel has established an apartheid regime that dominates the Palestinian people as a whole.”

Palestinians welcomed the landmark UN report. Meanwhile Israel and its US patron have reacted with rage.

A senior United Nations official has resigned, following pressure from Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to withdraw the landmark report published earlier this week finding Israel guilty of apartheid. 

The UN SG has also ordered the report to be removed from the UN website. 

“The fact that a UN secretary general has bowed to threats and intimidation from the Trump administration to protect Israel from accountability, yet again, is hardly news,” the BNC said. “The real news is that this time round, Israel, with all its influence in Washington, cannot put the genie back into the bottle.”

Please find below full copy of the report 

Israeli Practices towards the Palestinian People and the Question of Apartheid 


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